SAMMY KEYES AND THE ART OF DECEPTION by Wendelin Van Draanen

SAMMY KEYES AND THE ART OF DECEPTION

Age Range: 11 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Shenanigans take a back seat to affairs of the heart in this teenaged Sherlock’s eighth outing. Assigned to find and analyze “art” at either a local gallery or an upcoming Renaissance Faire, Sammy tries both, and stumbles into a tangle of vicious intrigue, inflated egos, hidden motives, and general bad behavior—not unlike junior high school, where Sammy continues to be whipsawed by encounters with archenemy Heather Acosta and her friendly, disturbingly attractive brother Casey. Having foiled an attempted robbery at the gallery that looks more and more like a setup, Sammy smells something fishy—and finds an unlikely ally in her grandma, with whom she lives illegally in a seniors-only apartment, and whose budding romance with Sammy’s septuagenarian confidante Hudson seems headed for the rocks after a charming artist turns his head. Despite robberies, shocking revelations, mysterious strangers, and pumped-up language (“Anyhow, I blasted over to art class, and the minute I blew through the door . . . ”), Sammy’s preoccupation with Gram’s love life and getting her own feelings for Casey in order, along with ruminations about good art vs. bad, orient this episode more toward character and personal issues than its suspenseful, danger-laden precursors. Still, thoughtful readers will understand from Sammy’s anguish, when she sees a work of art that had moved her profoundly destroyed by its larcenous owner, that there are moral felonies at least as wicked as the more conventional legal kind. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: April 8th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-81176-1
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2003




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